How to Negotiate

Haggling. when arguing over price, negotiation entails a simple give-and-take until the parties reach a compromise or fail to agree. Skilled negotiators will often include arguments for why a price should be more or less – why the other party agrees with his term

One factor that experts recommend you learn about yourself before you enter negotiations is your best alternative to negotiated agreement (BATNA). This is the option you would take if the talks fell through. For instance, if you’re negotiating over the price of a house, your choices of BATNA could be staying where you live or trying to get a different house.

Distributive negotiations are those in which there is a certain, fixed sized pie over which the sides fight. One party wins, and the other loses. For example, if countries are drawing political lines in peace negotiations after war, the territory one country gains is a loss to the other nations. Another name for this is a zero-sum game.

Integrative negotiation in which the parties can actually enlarge the size of the pie. Theorists call this process creating and claiming value. This happens when parties think of new things that one side can offer the other and then claim parts for themselves. For instance, when negotiating salary increases, an employer could also offer extra vacation or better benefits in exchange for the employee settling for a lower salary.

Separate the people from the problem: Try to account for others’ emotions and cool your own. Communicate honestly and show that you actively and attentively listen to the other side.

Focus on interests, not positions: Although the outright demands (positions) of either side might prove incompatible at first, getting to the root of the demands (the underlying interests that motivated them) allows the parties to rethink and adjust demands to make them compatible.

via [HowStuffWorks]


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